Calling all Puzzlers!

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The Aurora Public Library District is “Putting It Together” with a week-long jigsaw puzzle event this August. The Aurora Public Library will host the event from 10AM – 2 PM from August 15th through August 20th. Jigsaw puzzles will be available to work on and the Library will furnish coffee and water.

The kids will be back in school and it’s your time to relax. Bring your friends to the Aurora Public Library and enjoy a cup of coffee while you work on jigsaw puzzles and visit with each other. Jigsaw puzzles have been shown to benefit your mental health in many ways, because you are using both sides of your brain at the same time. Working on puzzles increases our concentration, our creativity and our visualization skills. It also causes our brain to produce dopamine which is good for memory and learning. Working on a jigsaw puzzle also can lead to great conversations and could be your chance to meet new friends in the community.

The Library will also be hosting a “Puzzle Exchange”. Bring a jigsaw puzzle that you’ve already completed and trade it for a puzzle that someone else brings in. Many of us already pass puzzles along, and we always appreciate a chance to get a new puzzle for free!

Never Too Young to Learn Justice

Would you agree that we live in troubling times? One response to this is to be intentional about teaching our children about social justice issues. It’s never to early to begin to share stories of the heroic efforts made by people around the world to bring about peace and justice. The books shown below are some great starting points, and are appropriate for younger children. Books can provide a means to start a conversation about attitudes and events within and outside of our communities. As always, parents and caregivers know best what their children are mature enough to hear, but these books present issues in a child-friendly way. Feel free to talk to me about any of these titles or to recommend others that have worked well for your family.

brave girl   emmanuel

i could   Mandela

race   nasreen

Papa's Mark   seeds of change

sit-in   martin

For older elementary students or teens, I recommend looking at these titles by Janet Wilson. They highlight true stories of kids around the world who have taken action on various issues. These are great for browsing, since each child activist is highlighted in 2-3 pages.

Our Rights: How kids are changing the world

One Peace: True stories of young activists

Our Earth: How kids are saving the planet

Our Heroes: How kids are making a difference

Unsung July Holidays

July is FULL of surprising and quirky holidays that you have probably never celebrated. Below is a list of some of my favorite. You’re welcome.

 

1. National Ice Cream Day- July 17th

Ice Cream DEFINES summer, especially as hot as this one has been. In my humble opinion, we have some of the best ice cream shops around. Take advantage of this day, whether you’re out getting ice cream with friends, or sobbing into a quart of your own watching your favorite chick flick.

2. Rat-Catcher’s Day- July 22nd

Yes, that’s right, July 22nd is a day to celebrate the real heroes of society: pest control. Inspire by the Pied Pier of Hamelin, this day is truly all about the rats. Even with the success of the Pixar Film Ratatouille, and the meme that swept the nation “Pizza Rat,” rats are still seen as the pest of all pests. We take this day to thank the brave men and women who wake up everyday to take care our pest problems.

3. Take Your Plants for a Walk Day- July 27th

Leash up- your plant’s going for a walk! On this day, people around the nation take their plants for a walk- really! If you’re too self conscious to provide your plant with all the benefits of being in the fresh air, maybe take it for a walk around your house. Move it from one room to another. The happier your plants, the happier your home.

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4. National Milk Chocolate Day- July 28th

Don’t be fooled- this isn’t chocolate milk day (that’s September 27th)- this is MILK. CHOCOLATE. DAY. Creamy, delicious, milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is far superior than dark chocolate (YES- I said it) in all of it’s forms and fashions. It’s dairy, it’s delicious, it’s worthy of a holiday.

5. National Cheesecake Day- July 30th

OKAY- no other July holiday is as important as this one (besides July 4th, duh). But in all honesty, cheesecake takes the cake in this competition. Use this day as an excuse to splurge on all things cheesecake, and if anyone asks you why you’re eating so much cheesecake, tell them you’re simply executing your right to celebrate the creamiest, sweetest, cheesecakiest holiday of the year.

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School Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

Do you have a child who will be going to school for the first time? Beginning either preschool or kindergarten can be a bit overwhelming for some kids. There are new people to meet, a new building to learn and new expectations.  One way to make the transition to school a little smoother is through reading picture books about the experience. Our Library District has lots of great books to reassure your little ones and to let them know what to expect. Stop by and pick up a couple of these books now, so you have lots of time to read and re-read them as the first day of school approaches. Even older brothers or sisters will enjoy these as they remember their experience of starting school. Being prepared means no worries for your child or for you!

bindergarten   countdown

lola   not this bear

ouchy     tom

preschool     wemberly

froggy   the best

July is National Grilling Month and You’re Already Hungry

You read right: National. Grilling. Month.

It’s only fitting that this month-long celebration falls in the same month as July 4th, a time for fireworks,  s’mores, and grilled meat. While July 4th is already behind us, our grills are still burning and the sun is still shining. It’s summer, and that’s the only excuse you need to grill.

We all know the feeling: a sunny evening, warm breeze, back patio, food on the grill. Food is important to culture in so many ways, but grilled food is a part of the dictionary definition of summer (OKAY- maybe not, but you get my point).

I mean, JUST LOOK AT THAT MEAT BEING GRILLED. It’s screaming summer deliciousness.

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Not into meat? No worries, grilled veggies are equally as important in the formula for a perfect summer. Mm-mm-MM!

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Even though grilling is such a summer staple, grilling as we know it has barely been around for 60 years. In fact, the first Weber grill was designed and built in 1952. This design included features that we are familiar with now: a base for charcoal,  a grate for food, and a dome shaped lid to contain as well as release heat (science is cool!).

In the 1960s the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company redesigned the grill to use gas instead of charcoal.  In no time at all this style of grilling was in the backyard of every American suburban home. This style of grilling was far superior to the open-fire style at the time, faster than charcoal, and it changed the way we consume food forever.

Celebrate National Grilling Month by throwing your favorite summer meal on the grill and sharing with friends and family. What do you plan on grilling this month? Start the conversation by commenting below!

 

What is a Prehysterical Beast?

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If you’re not sure what a Prehysterical Beast is and you would like to learn to draw one, don’t miss out on a free workshop with cartoon artist Steve Harpster. Steve will be appearing at 2 programs on Thursday, July 21st as we end our Summer Reading Program for kids and teens. The first opportunity to meet Steve will be at Carnegie Hall in Moores Hill at 11 AM, and he will then move to the Dillsboro Public Library for a program at 1 PM.

Steve lives in Columbus, Ohio and has loved to draw funny cartoons, mean monsters, and goofy gadgets since he was able to pick up a pencil. In first grade, he avoided writing assignments by working on the pictures for stories instead. Steve was able to land a job drawing funny pictures for books, and that’s really what he’s best at. Steve recently appeared at the Aurora Elementary School and was a huge hit with students and teachers!

I know we have some great artists in our Library District, but this will be fun for people with all levels of talent. Steve will be talking us through each step as we let our creativity explode. Load up the entire family (and some of your neighbors) and come out for this interactive event!

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The Dystopian Summer Reading List

Dystopian books are on fire right now, they are being gobbled up by everyone and movies are coming out left and right based on these books. If you are new to the scene or a veteran dystopian reader you should check out some of these books from the library to read this summer. The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave by Richard Yancey

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Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld

The_Selection_Cover

The Selection, by Kiera Cass

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Legend, by Marie Lu

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The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann

dark-tower-books stephen king

The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

If we survive

If We Survive, by Andrew Klavan 

One Second After

One Second After, by William Forstchen

What Wonders Do You See?

The Seven Woders of Sassafras Springs

This summer I had the chance to read the Independent Readers book selection, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs.  And I thoroughly enjoyed it! So, I want you to consider reading it in July also. Perhaps you will join Peggy on Friday, July 15th at DPL 11:00am to talk about the book.  It’s not to late to stop in and pick up a copy.  It makes a good read.  It also would be a wonderful read aloud family read, or while traveling, a book to read to everyone in the car.

The story introduces you to Eben McAllister from Sassafras Springs.  He loves adventure and reading.  His most recent book was about the Seven Wonders of the World.  Oh, if he could only leave the Springs for unknown travels and treasures like most of us want to leave to see more somewhere else.  After moping around, Eben’s father challenges him to find 7 treasures in Sassafras Springs and his dad will let him travel west by train to visit Colorado and Eben’s aunt.

Eben accepts the challenge realizing that he doesn’t believe he can think of one thing that can stand up to the “real” Seven Wonders.  Nothing he would even call interesting.  But he figures he’ll give it a try since there isn’t really anything else to do in Sassafras Springs but chores.

As you spend time with Eben you learn about the big surprises he is in for, like a singing saw or a floating table are just two of Eben’s discoveries. His neighbors, friends, and family help Eben learn about his town while being on the adventure of a lifetime.

Will he find 7?  Will he make the trip by train? Will he get to see Colorado?  You will have to read to find out.  This down-home narrative written by Betty G. Birney can be found in the j Fiction area at the Aurora and Dillsboro Libraries.

At a time when Indiana is celebrating the Bicentennial and Aurora, Dillsboro and Moores Hill are our home towns, what wonders could you tell about from your view.  Each community has many unique and special wonders to be discovered.  I am working on my list of 7.  Share your discoveries with us as you find your 7 Wonders.

 

 

Authors A to Z: Adler-Olsen

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Jussi Adler-Olsen

Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen (born August 2, 1950) is a Danish writer of crime fiction, as well as a publisher, editor and entrepreneur. Jussi made his debut as a fiction writer in 1997.

Born in Copenhagen, he was the youngest of four children and the only boy. Son of the successful sexologist and psychiatrist Henry Olsen, he spent his childhood with his family in doctors’ official residences at several mental hospitals across Denmark. In his late teens, he played in a pop group as lead guitarist. He graduated from high school in 1970, from 1970-78 he studied medicine, sociology and film making .

Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s #1 crime writer and a New York Times bestselling author. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than fifteen million copies around the world. His many significant Nordic crime-writing awards include the Glass Key Award, also won by Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson, and Peter Hoeg. His writing is fast-paced, with inventive plotting and visceral psychology, with flashes of humor.

Genre:Psychological suspense; Scandinavian crime fiction; Thrillers and suspense
Story-line:Intricately plotted
Pace:Fast-paced
Tone:Atmospheric; Suspenseful; Violent
Writing Style:Compelling

The First volume in the Department Q series is The Keeper of Lost Causes.

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On a beautiful winter’s day the young, progressive politician Merete Lynggaard disappears without a trace. The media are all over the story with their headlines suggesting everything from murder and suicide to a planned voluntary disappearance. The police immediately commence a large-scale investigation, alas with no result. Merete Lynggaard has vanished from the face of the earth.

Not until Carl Mørck , the deputy detective superintendent who has been through a lot in his time, is put in charge of the new department for “cases of special focus” is there a major breakthrough in the investigation. Soon Carl and his assistant Assad are tracing a reckless criminal, who driven by hate has set up an insane scheme.

Reviews

“Plan on putting everything else in your life on hold if you pick up this book.” — The Oregonian

“Far from being just another morose Nordic crime writer, Adler-Olsen creates a detective whose curiosity is as active as his soul is tortured.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Adler-Olsen’s prose is superior to Larsson’s, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor.” — Booklist (starred review)

“The new ‘it’ boy of Nordic Noir.” — The Times (London)

Adler-Olsen

There are many, many wonderful writers whose last name starts with the letter A, I chose this particular author for my friend and previous co-worker Merlee.  She enjoys crime novels and Mr. Adler-Olsen is a favorite.  Look for the next in the Authors A to Z series-coming soon. I’d also like to credit two resources I use everyday to look up authors, series and to find recommendations.

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Let’s Get Moving!

As our summer of “On Your Mark, Get Set . . . Read” winds down, we have a great program planned for families at the Aurora City Park Pavilion. Joanie Calem will be leading us in music and movement for our Final Party on July 20th at 11 AM.

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Her program “If You Can Walk, You Can Dance, If You Can Talk, You Can Sing”, is right on theme for a program that has worked to encourage all members of our families to stay active. We will enjoy participating in interactive games, dances, stories and songs from around the world.

Movement and music have both been shown to be critical for both brain development and success in school. Both are highly recommended as part of “Every Child Ready to Read”, a research-based approach for increasing the preliteracy skills that children need to be successful as they begin their formal education. Singing helps children identify word sounds and syllables, and fosters a love of word play. It has also been shown to be an effective way for kids to learn to calm themselves when frustrations arise. The links below will provide more information on the importance of movement and music.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/move-body-grow-brain-donna-wilson

http://ideas.demco.com/blog/reading-to-the-beat/

See you all at the park!